Am J Phys Anthropol. 2011 Sep;146(1):134-7. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21551.

Brief communication: evidence of Bartonella quintana infections in skeletons of a historical mass grave in Kassel, Germany.

Grumbkow PV, Zipp A, Seidenberg V, Fehren-Schmitz L, Kempf VA, Gross U, Hummel S.

Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Department of Historical Anthropology and Human Ecology, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Buergerstraße 50, 37073 Goettingen, Germany.


In 2008, a mass grave was found on the grounds of the University of Kassel, Germany. Historians hypothesized that the individuals died in a typhoid fever epidemic in winter 1813/14.

To test this hypothesis, the bones were investigated on the presence of specific DNA of pathogens linked to the historical diagnosis of typhoid fever.

It was possible to prove the specific DNA of Bartonella quintana in three individuals, suggesting that their cause of death is linked to an epidemic background.

2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID: 21710687 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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